Eden Yachting based in the UAE, and one of the few yacht charter agencies based in the Middle East, has demonstrated its support for the Lebanese yacht charter industry this month by adding Beirut as a charter destination on its cutting edge website.
The company, launched last year, charters both sailing and motor yachts for their clients through well established operators in some 25 exotic destinations worldwide and this now includes the Lebanese capital.
According to Philippe Saad, Owner and Managing Director of Eden Yachting, "The yacht charter industry is particularly underdeveloped in Lebanon, however as the country enjoys a 220 km coastline, 300 days of sunshine and borders the Mediterranean, I believe there is great potential in this market for chartering. Of course there are limitations in the sense that there are not many public marinas outside the Beirut area, however this just means that it is currently a day charter market. The Lebanese like to socialise and they love the sea, so what better way to enjoy themselves than to charter a crewed yacht for a day and take a group of friends cruising up the coast."
According to the New York Times, a record number of travellers showed up to discover Beirut in 2009 and if the political situation remains stable, that could mean even more visitors this year. This has had a positive impact on the local yachting industry, demonstrated by a significant 14.5% growth in yacht sales in 2009, with the prediction for 2010 estimated at +20%. Indeed the investment in both tourism and marine facilities along the Lebanese coast, heralds a new era for boating enthusiasts, with $1bn already spent on marinas/ seafront developments and more in the pipeline.
Eden Yachting offers both motor and sailing yachts for cruising, racing, training, team building, corporate hospitality, diving and fishing in a number of Middle Eastern destinations as well as the more usual international charter locations. These include Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah, the Musandam Fjords, Muscat and the Red Sea.